Thankful

I absolutely love the holiday season and have waited my entire life to share it with a little one. This year we get to! Our first big holiday with Jackson was Thanksgiving and I couldn’t be more thankful. It was incredible and everything it was supposed to be: full of fun, family and thankfulness. Granted preparing a Thanksgiving meal by oneself with a 3 month old in tow was a bit challenging, we managed alright with a limited number of fatalities (one being a burned wrist–I have a gnarly burn scar on it now).

On the menu:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Dressing

Homemade Gouda Mashed Potatoes

A big bird

We also had green bean casserole, corn, rolls, gravy and homemade pumpkin pie 🙂

After we feasted, we went to the park!

We had a wonderful holiday over here! We hope you had a great one too enjoying time with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours 🙂

P.S. Sorry for the lack of posts this week! We’ve been incredibly busy with boycotted naps, Christmas tree decorating, online Christmas shopping, preparing for our trip to Austin next week! and training. I hope to return to regular posting soon but plan for a MIA status next Thursday for a week while we’re on vacation. Family time > Internet.

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A 1/4 of a Year

Woah time, please stop speeding on by! I cannot believe 3 months have flown by. A quarter of a year. 92 days. Our little boy is growing up and filling out so fast!

Breastfeeding

He’s becoming a little chubster (which if you’ve read about our difficulties with feeding early on and his weight gain you know is a VERY good thing). At his 2 month check up he was only in the 9th percentile for his weight but that was a huge improvement from the 5% he was in a few weeks earlier. He clocked in at 9lbs 15oz and just 13 days later, 2.5 months old, he weighed in at a whopping 11lb 14oz! Gaining weight about twice as fast as he “should” but he’s still trying to catch up. We seem to have finally found a balance that works for us between BFing as much as I can and supplementing with Nutramigen. Let me say, that stuff ain’t cheap. But it’s so worth it for that double chin, chunky little thighs and the most important thing of course, his health. Right now I’d say we’re about 50/50 for breastfeeding (a mix between time at the boobie and pumped milk) and supplementing. I pump after he’s fed if my girls feel a bit full still, if they’re full and he’s asleep or not hungry or after a run if he’s extremely hungry and too fussy to be patient at the boob (he’s become a lil’ spoiled with the bottles). It’s actually the best of both worlds and I’ve come to terms with the fact that he won’t be an exclusively BF babe. I’m just lucky I’m able to BF at all and thankful for every month we get through where I’m still able to give him at least some of my nutrients, antibodies, etc. Especially with flu season upon us.

Playtime

As a SAHM we spend a LOT of time together. It’s amazing how we spend every waking (and sleeping) moment together and I still don’t get sick of him. As he’s getting older he has many more hours of alertness. It’s been fun trying to fill that time in ways that are beneficial to his growth and development. Right now he’s loving his activity mat.

He bats at the toys, grabs onto the crinkly paper at the bottom and kicks and kicks like he’s swimming in an Ironman.

He still enjoys his mobile that’s attached to his Pack-n-play and will bat and grab the animals. He enjoys his crib mobile even more though because it moves on it’s own and plays music!

Most of our hours are spent with him propped in my lap with us making funny faces at each other, sticking out our tongues, smiling and talking. I swear he said “I love you” the other day.

Every day we read at least 1 book. He really enjoys sitting up in my lap staring at all the pictures.

We sing and dance together almost daily. Lately it’s been to Christmas music which he really gets a kick out of.

He’s spent more and more time in his Rock-n-play just wiggling around watching me as I get back into the kitchen and cooking. I make sure to take breaks to tickle his feet, do a funny dance and I talk him through everything I’m doing as I cook and let him smell the various foods. He seems to really enjoy it.

He’s still doing tummy time but he’s an overachiever and keeps trying to skip ahead to crawling. He kicks and kicks and kicks and if there’s anything to kick off of he actually crawls! We’re working on him spending more energy lifting his head and torso up (he spends a lot of time doing it while laying on one of us and has excellent head control). He’s getting better and better at it when we try to focus him on lifting up his torso rather than crawling. He did so well the other morning he rolled himself right off the couch! He was fine but shocked both of us.

And of course the last thing he truly enjoys is napping on runs. He is enthralled with the glide of the stroller (maybe from all the miles I logged running while pregnant?), the sunshine (the boy loves lights) and all the new things to stare at. It’s really fun to watch him take it all in!

Clothes and Diapers

The boy has graduated to Size 1 diapers. Finally! And he’s quickly outgrown most of his 0-3 clothes (they are VERY form fitting now) so we’ve begun putting him in some of his 3-6 clothes. We need to invest in some more, pronto!

Fun Stuff

In less than a month we’ll be going on Jackson’s first plane ride! We’ll be spending an early Christmas in Texas with my in-laws. I’m so excited to show Jackson where he first began growing and where mommy & daddy had their first home together. I’m a little nervous about the logistics of traveling with a baby (like where the heck do you change him on a plane?!) but I’m sure we’ll figure it out. Any advice feel free to give it to us! We’re also going to get family pictures done there which I am so excited for! I can’t wait to get some professional shots of his big bright smile!

Sickly Saturday

Feeling a bit under the weather after yesterday’s early long run, an 8 miler (usually our long runs are on Sundays but turns out Bry works this Sunday to get Thanksgiving off which is a really nice surprise! So we did our long run yesterday since it’s colder with a chance of rain tomorrow and we wanted to get it done). Bry’s at a football game with an old friend (GO TEXAS STATE!) so me and Booger are on our own.

Hoodrats

I had grand ideas of Christmas shopping while Bry’s away and I have the car. We got through Target and called it quits. Jax was hungry and dirty, I was hungry and stuffy and well errands with a 3 month old in tow are long and tedious. I wanted to get a Redbox movie but waking Jax up to put him in his carseat to drive to redbox to get him out of the car to walk 10 feet to rent a movie to put him back in the car to drive home to get him right back out again seems like much too much work.

I mean, could you wake this face?!

This morning before Bry left us to our own devices we were awoken by the noisebox (aka Jackson) at 6am for the final, I’m-Really-Awake-Now-C’mon-Let’s-Play! time. So we got up and spontaneously went out for bagels. Booger napped during breakfast (how rude) and blessed me with an hour nap when we got home and he was fed. We both crashed sitting upright on the couch.

I think I’m going to join the Jacksonator in dreamland. Have a great weekend!

My Running Plan Detailed

I’ve had a few questions regarding my training plan and how I’m getting back into running postpartum. I figured I’d dedicate a post that answers those questions in detail.

First, I was very active throughout my pregnancy. There were about 5 weeks between week 7-12 that I was pretty much hibernating in bed because I was so sick from morning sickness but aside from that I logged a lot of miles throughout all 9 months both on land and in the water. Here’s a bit of what my activity looked like

At the end of my pregnancy I wasn’t consistently running anymore. I stopped logging 4-5 mile runs 3 times a week at about 33 weeks pregnant because I began experiencing preterm labor signs and did not want to have a premature baby. From the beginning of pregnancy it was always baby’s safety above my desire to exercise. If I’d ever had pain (which I did at about 13 weeks (round ligament pain) and thus took a few weeks off from running and stayed in the water) I’d quit running. My desire for my pregnancy was never to be a pregnant runner but rather a mommy to a healthy baby. Pregnant runner < Mommy.

However, I remained active. I still made it to the pool a few times, took a lot of walks with Lily & the hubs and practiced yoga a handful of times. So for me, getting back into running wasn’t all that difficult. Top that off with a very easy labor and delivery and I was cleared 3 weeks postpartum to begin running again.

My first few runs were about a half mile in length and I’d finish them off with 1-2 mile walks. At first my hips hurt like the dickens. I felt strange not being front loaded. My boobs hurt and moved more than usual because they were fuller thanks to breastfeeding. My lungs felt like I was severely out of shape. But, I pushed through. I learned early on the necessity of wearing a panty liner when running and of just taking it slowly. I quickly began adding on mileage by adding additional running intervals. At 4 weeks postpartum I had a 1.5mi run and a 2mi run. By 5 weeks PP I had a 3miler. At 8 weeks postpartum I was feeling confident in my running abilities and the ability to bring Jackson along for runs. So, my husband and I signed up for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. We’d have about 5 months to train and I was confident that that would be more than enough time to train in a smart, safe way to avoid injuries.

First, I looked up training plans online. Most are 12 weeks long. We had over 20 weeks to go. I knew that things would be unpredictable with a baby, that my body is still crazy and that I have a history of knee problems from running (and that Bry has back problems from running). I was excited to have the extra weeks to have a  more flexible and less rigid training plan. Bry and I are not very competitive. Our goal for this race isn’t to win or to clock 7 minute miles. We run slowly and really take time to enjoy the runs and the scenery.

At 8 weeks we began our training plan with a 5 miler, 3 miler and a long run of 6 miles. We felt good. Strong. Ready! I felt like I could keep running but again, the goal of training isn’t to push myself too far too fast but to train smart. And I feel like we are. Most runs I feel really strong. I feel like I have some left in the tank and I have enough energy at the end to still be the best mommy possible for my son. The more we run, the most miles we clock, the stronger I feel which makes me more confident in our plan. I should clarify that we run intervals. Right now our long runs look like this: 3min 30 second warm up walk, 5 minute run then 4 minute walk, 10 minute run, repeat until the end so when it comes down to it in our 7 milers we probably run 5.5 miles of it and walk 1.5.

Here’s what the rest of our training plan looks like from now until Race Day:

We have runs planned every Wednesday and Friday with long runs every Sunday and rest days in between, with 2 rest days after every long run. The rest days can be cross-training but not runs (at least for now to avoid injury). It works well for us! No day is truly a rest day with a 12 week old either. I am constantly holding him (talk about weight training), rocking, bouncing, feeding, etc. As you can see in our plan, some weeks are changed. Like I said, we’re flexible to whatever is going on. For example, in a month we’ll be in Texas. So our runs are changed according to traveling and things going on. Additionally we’re flexible based on how we’re feeling on a particular day. For example this past week we had a 4 miler planned for Wednesday. But we felt off. It was cold. Dark. Drizzling. Jackson had a bad night the night before so we had very little sleep so we cut it short to 3 miles. On Friday we had a 3 miler planned but felt great and well rested so we added on an additional mile and ended up with a weekly total that was the same as originally planned. Our goal with training is to be smart and ready in March without feeling pressured. So far it’s working really well for us.

My goals in March are this:

1) Get to the start line. Hey, you can’t get tot he finish if you don’t start 🙂

2) Get to the finish line.

3) Finish in under 3 hours

4) Try to run the whole thing but not at the expense of not enjoying the run

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

From Newborn to Infant

Jackson’s just over 12 weeks old now and time has certainly flown by! Just these past few weeks he’s had major growth spurts (including gaining 2lbs in 2 weeks). As much as he’s the same baby we brought home from the hospital, he’s also completely different. It’s insane how much can change in just 3 months and how fast those 3 months fly by with a new baby.

Sleep

Newborn

When we first brought Jax home we were clueless first time parents. The first night he cried and cried, unlike he’d ever done the 3 days we were in the hospital. We tried to swaddle him. Tried to rock him. Tried to shhh him. Tried to feed him. Nothing worked except for cuddling. The boy wanted his mommy and nothing was an acceptable substitute. After 4 hours of trying to get him to sleep in his crib which was directly next to our bed, we finally gave in and propped 12 pillows around me and I slept with him on my chest.

From the get go he was incredible and so long as he slept on me, he’d sleep for 3-4 hours at a time.

Infant

Against all recommendations and warnings, Jackson still sleeps on me. I fully understand the danger associated with co-sleeping but I assure you, as his mother, I do know what’s best for him. I’m not a sound sleeper at all and wake at his tiniest movements. There aren’t any covers of pillows around that could accidentally suffocate him. I can feel him breathe all night long and am certain he is fine. Of course we plan to switch him to sleeping in his crib at night eventually but right now this is what works for all of us. We’re already starting to implement lots of naps in the crib and off of us so that he gets more and more used to sleeping on his own.

Naps

Newborn

He pretty much slept nonstop. As long as he was in our arms or in the moby wrap he was one snoring happy camper.

Infant

He sleeps on me occasionally for naps but most are spent in his rock ‘n’ play, carseat or stroller. He loves to be rocked and sung to sleep. I don’t know why on earth he likes my singing because it sounds like nails on a chalkboard but hey! Whatever works.

Bathtime

Newborn

Bath time was a struggle. In the beginning we sponge bathed him as he still had his umbilical stump and after that was healing from circumcision. He screamed bloody murder as soon as the clothes came off and the water turned on. Bry and I would play speed demons and wash and dry Jax as fast as humanly possible to get him back in the warmth of his clothes and our arms.

Infant

He’s still very cold sensitive but we’ve seemed to find a good system. Showers! I’ll bring Jax in the shower with me, put him in the newborn/infant tub and wash myself. He wiggles his way down and kicks the water with his feet. He loves it! He tries to eat it too. Then I pick him up and lather him with soap and wash him off. Then back in his tub he goes with the water spraying his little belly as I dry off. I watch him throughout. I then get his towel, wrap him up, dry him off and change him. Verdict? He loves it and no screaming commences.

Playtime

Newborn

Playtime as a newborn literally consisted of sleeping together and talking to him as he stared at us blankly.

Infant

He loves his activity mat now! We do a lot of tummy time, read to him, sing and dance together. He’s still not a big fan of toys and would rather have mommy/daddy interaction time.

Independent Time

As a newborn it was constant dependence, which was fine by me. But as he transitioned into an infant we could put him in his rock ‘n’ play so I could cook as he played around, lay him on his activity mat so we could eat with both hands or leave him in his pack n’ play so he could watch his mobile as I wrote out journal entries. I love the ability to have a little time to myself and the knowledge that he’s able to entertain and soothe himself now too. It’s a great balance! His eyesight is so much better now that he’s able to track us and items across rooms which is really fun!

Personality

He has so much spunk now! He will clearly show you how he feels about just about everything via facial expressions (he literally will stick out his bottom lip and pout!) and talking. It’s much more fun and better for both of us because he’s able to more easily convey how he feels and what he needs.

Love

As a newborn I knew Jackson depended on me. He needed me for milk as I was exclusively breastfeeding. He needed me to soothe him to sleep. To change him. To make him feel safe and protected and loved. As much as he still needs all of those things he’s able to show his love for us more and more. He doesn’t necessarily need us as much as he used to. He’s become more independent but now he’s able to smile and coo and give these eyes that just show unconditional love. It’s truly amazing! As much as I miss our little 7lber, our 12lb smiling and snuggling baby is absolutely incredible. I wish I could pause time because it’s flying by too fast but at the same time it just gets better and better.

Running Gadgets & Toys

Here are some running gadgets & toys I use/have sued that I really like! None of them are really necessary for running but some help with training, others make it more fun and convenient and still others aid in fast recovery.

Gaiam 18-Inch Muscle Therapy Foam Roller: Foam rollers really help in speeding up recovering, in my experience. I use mine after runs to help loosen tight muscles and massage out knots. It hurts so good!

Garmin Forerunner 305: Helps track heart rate, distance, pace, calories burned, time elapsed, etc. I love it for runs and wear it for all of mine (hey, it comes with a hefty price tag so I gotta get my money’s worth ;)). I’ve used it for bike rides, hikes, walks and swims as well though it does have restrictions on how deep you can submerge it for it to still work. I also have a Polar HRM that I originally bought when I first started running to see my heart rate throughout my workouts. I sprang for the Garmin when I really got into training because of the GPS component. It’s bulkier and takes some getting used to but overall I’m happy with the purchase. Before it I’d just use the Polar and then map my runs on Mapmyrun.com. Not precise but close enough!


Body Glide: I finally bought this when I was pregnant and my thighs would rub together between the extra baby weight and the summer heat. It’s awesome! I wear it still when I wear shorts for runs, put it between my toes on long runs so they don’t rub calluses or blisters onto each other, etc. Bry uses it too!

SpiBelt: I haven’t used this in awhile simply because we run with our jogging stroller and have the handlebar console attached to it. So we put all our stuff in it instead of the SpiBelt. But we do plan to use it for our half marathon and whenever we train without little man (which we don’t plan to do for a very long time since he enjoys it so much!) It’s great to keep fuel, keys, a cell phone, etc. without bulking up pockets or your hands.

Non-Slip hair ties: These are the ONLY hair ties I’ve ever found that actually live up to their non-slip name. They don’t come lose at all and hold my ponytail for hour+ runs. And I have long hair!

*We have personally purchased and used all items listed above and personally recommend them based on our own experiences*